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Pálava Nature Reserve

The wide surroundings of the town are included in the Pálava Nature Reserve. The reserve consists of the landscape complex of the Pálava Hills and the Dyje river valley, protected since 1976 and entered in the list of biosphere reserves of UNESCO in 1986. Since 2003 Pálava has been part of the extended biosphere reserve of Lower Moravia, also including the Lednice-Valtice area and the river forests at the confluence of the Morava and the Dyje.

In 2004 The Pálava bird land was included in the European system Natura 2000, together with another 8 localities of European significance. The territory of the Nature Reserve includes a lot of small reserves. The most valuable include for example the Nature Reserve of Děvín-Kotel-Soutěska, or the nature reserves around Mikulov, including Svatý kopeček, Turold and Šibeničník, as well as the natural beauty of Kočičí skála.

The area of the Pálava Nature Reserve covers 83 km2. Most of the valuable reserves are situated on the main range of the Pálava Hills across their 12 km of length reaching from Dolní Věstonice to Mikulov. The highest hill of the range is Děvín (550 m above sea level). The dry and warm climate of the region is ideal for extensive vine growing and occurrences of may plant species unique in the Czech Republic. Quite exceptional is the occurrence of Lumnitzer carnation of the Pálava, founhd nowhere else in the world but here. The best-known plants of the Pálava include blue or yellow iris or large-blossom sand flower covering the Karst parkland of the slopes of Děvín or Svatý kopeček, and further the survived river forest with summer oak and narrow-leaved ash tree by the Křivé lake or the remains of the halophytic vegetation on the Nesyt pond bank near Sedlec.

Not only the flora but also the fauna of the Pálava is extremely rich thanks to the varied natural conditions of the region. The Pálava is situated at the boundary of the Panonian steppes and the Central European deciduous woodland, which is the ideal home for example for the rare praying mantis, stag beetle, rose chafer, and exceptionally Saga grasshopper. Rare reptiles include green lizard. Predator birds include sea-born eagle, and a lot of songbirds, such as Southern spotted woodpecker, Wallachian warbler or meadow bunting, whose societies belong to the largest in the Czech Republic. The caves and the limestone cliffs are the home for several bat species. The Dyje river is the home for European beaver.

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